Thursday, July 14, 2016


Frogfruit...hmm - is this an edible fruit like apples or bananas?? Or maybe a little more exotic like mango or Kiwi?? No, it is a plant found growing at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and across much of Texas.  According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site, the Latin name is Phyla nodiflora, and the plant is a member of the Verbena family.
Frogfruit by Sally and Andy Wasowski, from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
You can find Frogfruit, also know as Texas Frogfruit and Turkey Tangle Fogfruit,  growing around the bridge in the Butterfly Garden at HNWR, as well as along roadsides around the Refuge.  It is an excellent ground cover for sun or part shade, and semi-evergreen. During hard winters it will go dormant.

The plant was selected for the Butterfly Garden as meeting three criteria: a Texas native plant that is a butterfly host and also provides nectar.

Frogfruit is a host for the Phaon Crescent, shown above. Look closely when you visit and you may see these tiny butterflies flitting about the mass of blooming Frogfruit.   The plant has small white blooms from May - October and is tolerant of a wide variety of growing conditions.  In addition to Texas, it grows throughout the southern US and down to the tropics.

Frogfruit is just one of the many native Texas plants you can view in the Butterfly Garden; most are labelled but garden docents will be on hand this Saturday and on the third Saturdays of August, September, and October, from 9:30 - 11:30 am, to answer questions about plants and help identify visiting butterflies.  Come on out for a garden stroll!  These events are organized by the Friends of Hagerman and are free, no reservation needed, and you may come and go or come and stay.

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